#ThePROGRAM: Week 3

The Courage to Encourage

Inspiration is much like the oxygen cycle in nature… Where trees use sunlight and carbon dioxide to create oxygen, and we breathe in the oxygen to maintain life functions, expelling carbon dioxide which the tree will use to make oxygen yet again. In that same way, the ambitious among us must seek fuel for the fire, maintaining our drive to do difficult things. In that process, others observe our efforts and are inspired to pursue their own dreams. We aspire to greatness. We make fire with our bare hands, creating something from nothing. And we inspire others to do the same. Inspire. Aspire. Make fire. This is the cycle of inspiration. But there is a critical component in that process that many often overlook. Encouragement.

My entire life, literally since adolescence, has been a series of profound pursuits with which I was personally obsessed. Daunting and difficult dreams to which so few of my peers could relate. At forty, I still find myself in that place, on a lonely island, looking up at a mountain, the peak of which only I can see in my mind’s eye. What has been priceless to me on that journey, has been the support and kindness of a faithful few who believed, and who cared enough to say so.

That lesson is one I carry with me every day. We all, within us hold the ability to transform lives so easily, if we care enough to do so. What a wonderful gift it can be when someone takes the time to recognize your hard work or to admire your progress. What a difference a kind word or an approving nod can make. What an impact when an individual you hold in high regard notices your talent. How rewarding when a person who looks up to you, takes a moment to let you know you’re appreciated. This is true power and influence.

At the core of what we do, is the desire to empower people to chase their dreams and be greater than their life circumstances might typically allow. To let folks know that they’re valuable and that their dedication and hustle is significant and worthwhile. As we enter Week 3 on #TheProgram, know that we see you out there struggling and striving, and not only are we proud, we are inspired to work harder and do better to be worthy of your patronage. It is a cycle of great consequence and influence, one with the capacity to transform lives.

Remember, that as you venture out into the world, to interact with your neighbors, colleagues and even total strangers, you are powerful. Simply by being a source of positivity and hope, letting them know that you care, and that you believe them, you can alter their course forever. It takes courage and heart to fight the cold, callous negativity that so often darkens our days, but it is worth it. That good energy is contagious and will always find its way back to your doorstep… In making someone’s day, or even their life, you just might make your own.

“Going to smash back this week, heavy duty, blood and guts style. So channel your inner Dorian. One warmup, one work set for each movement. There are no sets to spare, so make every last one count” -G 

Supps: 2 scoops Grindin’ Grape Crush VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Invincible Iced Tea RISE intraworkout

  • T-Bar Rows: 2 sets x 15-8 reps
  • DB Rows: 2 sets x 15-8 reps
  • DB Pullovers: 2 sets x 15-8 reps
  • Wide Grip Pullups: 2 sets x Failure
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 2 sets x Failure
  • Low Pulley Cable Rows: 2 sets x 12-10 reps

Cardio: 30 mins Incline Treadmill/Stationary Bike or Outdoor Alternative

“First of two shoulder workouts this week. Again keeping it simple and intense. The Arnold Press is a DB Press that rotates the hand from Adding the 50 rep set back in at the end to light them on fire.” -G 

Supps: 2 scoops Bangin’ Black Cherry VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Code Orange RISE intraworkout

  • One Arm DB Side Raises: 2 sets x 15-8 reps
  • Seated DB Arnold Presses: 3 sets x 12-8 reps
  • Seated DB TriSet: Rear Delt DB Raises x Side DB Raises x Front DB Raises, 2 sets each x 12/12/12
  • DB Shrugs: 3 sets x 15-10 reps
  • Standing DB Side Raises: 1 set x 50 reps

Cardio: 30 mins Incline Treadmill/Stationary Bike or Outdoor Alternative

  

“It’s always impressive to have a big “bench”. And it’s always impressive to have big guns. However, it’s not always impressive to train arms the correct way. Training arms requires a little less brute strength than having a big bench.  The goal for training arms is to saturate them with as much blood as you can, train as heavy as you can in the 12-15 rep range, not 3-8 rep range. Bottom line… Don’t go too heavy. My usual arm training goes like this…” – G

“On paper this looks easy. But I throw in a lot of super slow reps, drop sets and short rest in between sets to make it more intense.”- Vinny G.

Supps: 2 scoops Pina Colada Crush VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Code Orange RISE intraworkout

  • V- Bar Pushdowns: 4 sets x 15-12 reps
  • Double Kickbacks 4 sets x 15-12 reps
  • Seated Dumbbell Extension Superset w/ Overhead Rope Extensions: 4 sets x 15-12 reps
  • EZ Bar Curls (Wide) 4 sets x 15-12 reps
  • Seated Dumbbell Curls: 4 sets x 15-12 reps
  • EZ Bar Preacher Curls (close) 4 sets x 15-12 reps

Cardio: 30 mins Incline Treadmill/Stationary Bike or Outdoor Alternative

“Adding intensity techniques (dropsets and supersets) to raise the stakes for wheels this week, in terms of both efficacy and efficiency. The bodyweight lunges at the end should feel like a mouthful of hot sauce with a sunburn at an August Saturday barbecue in Hell. If not, do another set.” -G

Supps: 2 scoops Legend Lime VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Invincible Iced Tea RISE intraworkout

  • Leg Extensions: Warmup x 30 reps, Double Dropset x 10/10/15 reps
  • Squats: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Superset: Leg Curls w/ Unilateral DB Stiff-Legged Deadlifts, 3 sets each- 10 reps per
  • Superset: Leg Press Calf Raises w/ Bodyweight Calf Raises, 3 sets each- 25 reps per
  • Bodyweight Lunges: 1 set x 20 reps per leg

Cardio: None

“Nothing better than #BigFriday. Will start off with four sets of the Big Daddy. And then a few wicked supersets to tear it to shreds. The pump will be intense, but focus on emphasizing the stretch and contraction, feeling the muscle fibers grow with every rep. On the first fly/press superset when you reach failure on flyes, immediately go right into presses to failure.” -G

Supps: The #CherryBomb-  1 scoop Cherry Swola, 1 scoop Bangin’ Black Cherry VICE preworkout

  1 scoop Invincible Iced Tea RISE intraworkout

  • Flat Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 10-4 reps
  • Superset: Incline DB Flyes w/ Incline DB Press, 3 sets x 15-10 reps per
  • Superset: Parallel Bar Dips w/ Pushups, 3 sets x 15-12 reps per
  • Floor Crunches: 4 sets x 25 reps

Cardio: 30 mins Incline Treadmill/Stationary Bike or Outdoor Alternative 

“Christian Coronato is Day One GCode fam. A standard bearer of old school work ethic, Christian is a classically trained chef, model father and husband, prosperous entrepreneur and one of the best bodybuilders in the nation. So dope to have his friendship, support and contribution to #TheProgram.” -G

Supps: 2 scoops Grindin’ Grape VICE preworkout w/ 25g of Carbs

    1 scoop Invincible Iced Tea RISE intraworkout w/ 25g of Carbs

  • Warmup with bands
  • Reverse Pec Deck: 4 sets x 20 reps, last set till absolute true failure shoot for 15 reps
  • Cable Side Raise: 4 sets x 20 reps, last set till absolute true failure shoot for 12 reps
  • Seated DB Press: 4 sets 12 reps, last set till absolute true failure shoot for 8 reps
  • Superset: Barbell Front Raise (wide grip) w/ Barbell Front Raise (narrow grip), 4 sets x15 reps
  • *Finisher:1 set, Run the Rack Side Delt Raises: Start heavy for 6 reps go down rack, getting lighter by 5 lbs on every drop, reaching absolute failure at each weight.

Cardio: Intervals on Stairs, 20 minutes

“Ten sets of squats today. You know the drill. When everyone rests on Sunday, we work. And give thanks for the blessing that is getting out of bed this Sunday morning. Life is fragile and fleeting, don’t waste it being anything less than your best.”- G

Supps: The “Motivation Due”- 1 scoop of Lemon Italian VICE w/ 1 scoop of Legend Lime VICE with a chocolate chip muffin preworkout

  1 scoop Code Orange RISE intraworkout

  • Barbell Squats: 10 sets x 20-1 reps

Cardio: None

#EatLikeTheMan “Break The Fast”

Breakfast has long been touted as the most important meal of the day in mainstream nutrition circles. The athletes, bodybuilders and serious lifters among us might argue that they’re all of equal import, but there is a reason why the first meal of the day has reached such exalted status. The word “breakfast” combines two words, quite literally meaning to “break the fast”. The night prior, you likely went several hours—maybe four, maybe six, maybe eight or ten, without any fuel whatsoever. Tack onto that how many hours you might’ve gone between your last meal and actual shuteye, and then how much time you go between rising and consuming your first macronutrients, there’s a chance you may have gone anywhere from 25-50% of your day with no calories entering your system. When people speak of “fasting” as a new diet strategy, I have often laughed, noting that I’ve been fasting for many hours every day, my entire life. 

Often, I will train fasted, rolling out of bed, banging back a couple of scoops of VICE and putting in work on an empty stomach during the early, dark AM hours. At such times, my breakfast becomes even more significant, as it is then my postworkout meal too. And in such situations, as I see it in my head, my starving muscle fibers absorb every calorie like a sponge. I typically strive for a meal that is balanced in the macronutrients and prioritizes quality calories and micronutrients. This is also a good time to load up on carbohydrate fuel, either to power you through your day, or to replenish glycogen stores postworkout.

My ideal breakfast, whether cutting or bulking remains the same at its core, but when looking to gain size, I will add extra carbs of various sorts. When I have the time available for a proper breakfast and don’t have to settle for my whole food shake I refer to as a #MealinAMug, here’s what that will typically consist of…

  • 3-5 whole Omega-3 eggs scrambled w/ hot sauce
  • ½ to 1 cup of Old Fashioned oats w/ cinnamon and water
  • Fresh Fruit
  • RISE Invincible Iced Tea in 20 oz water

When looking to gain size, I might also add a large bagel or two English Muffins with grass fed butter, or maybe even a chocolate chip muffin or a couple of Pop-Tarts, depending on my mood and my current level of dietary restriction. But the bottom line is this, a hard-training athlete needs to feed the machine and a hard-working hustler needs to feed his process. Just as you’d never embark on a long, arduous journey without fuel, you should never begin your day without quality calories to power you forward.

One of my favorite breakfast staples is oatmeal that Tara has made me for years, the old-fashioned way, in the pot, with love. So good, sometimes I eat it, just because or as a hearty as fuck preworkout snack. Here’s the recipe…

  • 1 Pack Quaker Instant Raisins, Dates and Walnuts Oatmeal
  • ½ Cup Old Fashioned Oats (buy the generic and save $)
  • 1 Cup Lowfat Milk (I prefer Fairlife for the extra protein, less sugar and lactose.)
  • 1 Teaspoon Raw Honey
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Heat the milk in a pot until it reaches a slow boil. Turn the heat down to low and add the oats to the hot milk and stir in the honey, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Stir under low heat for 5-10 minutes. Then take off the burner and let thicken for another 5 minutes. Put into a bowl and smash.